Since its release in May 2016, three new heroes and two new maps have been added to Blizzard Entertainment’s first-person shooter Overwatch. All post-release content is free with new heroes and maps available to all players immediately at their release. Each event for the game adds new skins, sprays, and more for players to find in loot boxes they earn each level or in those they purchase with real money.
Across PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, this model is working quite well for Overwatch players. No characters are restricted behind any barrier of entry, free maps do not separate players between owners and non-owners since everyone can access them, and all items that can be purchased are random and cosmetic only. As the title nears its first anniversary, many are curious what the future holds for Overwatch.
Today, game director Jeff Kaplan gave a brief look at what is coming to the game on the official forums. Three new maps are planned to release this year according to the developer. These maps are full, standard maps to be found in Quick Play and Competitive. Additionally, another three non-standard maps are also coming to Overwatch in the future. A non-standard map is something like a variation of existing maps or seasonal maps. Of course, development is subject to change.
“We currently have 3 maps in development, all past the initial playtesting phase that are ‘standard’ maps (QP/Comp). While something could always change, all 3 of those are looking likely for a release this year.”
As an example, the Eichenwalde and Oasis maps are standard maps that were added after the release of Overwatch. These options are regularly available in Quick Play and Competitive modes, and they are options in Custom Games as well. Eichenwalde, located in Germany, was added to the game in September 2016 while Oasis, located in Iraq, premiered in January 2017.
Currently, a new event is underway featuring a modified version of the King’s Row map. During the Overwatch Uprising event, players are tasked with a PvE challenge to take points, push a payload, and defeat Null Sector robots in the temporary brawl. This version of King’s Row is unique to the event and not part of the normal rotation of Quick Play and Competitive options. Three new maps possibly similar to this brawl are in development alongside three brand new standard maps like Eichenwalde and Oasis.
Archive declassification complete.
Overwatch "Uprising" file status: OPEN.
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— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) April 11, 2017
The latest event in Overwatch also laid some groundwork for an oft-requested feature. As many players have noticed, an option to enable subtitles in the Uprising brawl is now available. This new option is evidently paving the way for subtitle support in other areas of the game as stated by Kaplan on the forums.
“Uprising is the first event to support subtitles. We now have some of the underlying tech and systems in place to proliferate subtitle support to other parts of the game. The team is very passionate about adding subtitle support.”
The Uprising event is only around for one more week in Overwatch. Players have until May 1 to obtain specific Uprising skins, sprays, emotes, voice lines, victory poses, and highlight introductions. New skins for Bastion, Genji, McCree, Mercy, Orisa, Reinhardt, Torbjorn, Tracer, and Widowmaker can be previewed on the Overwatch website. All of these Uprising skins are Legendary quality expect for Bastion’s Null Sector skin and Reinhardt’s Lieutenant Wilhelm skin.
As the Inquisitr reported, the Uprising brawl can be found in the Arcade section of the game. It can be completed with a set roster of four specific heroes or in a separate mode that allows any character to be used. Loot boxes earned or purchased during the event are guaranteed to have at least one item unique to the event included. After the Overwatch event ends, these cosmetic items will no longer be obtainable.
[Image by Blizzard Entertainment]